What is the difference between raster and vector?
Raster based artwork such as photos, or flattened artwork (from Adobe Photoshop) are made up of tiny squares
(pixels) and depending on your resolution and/or final output size desired, the file could have a low quality end
result. Any raster elements you wish to use should have a high enough resolution (DPI) before considering them for
your large format product.
mathematical calculations, and can be scaled up to any size without losing quality. Keep in mind that any effects
used in Adobe Illustrator are raster based and have transparency - this greatly adds to file size and you must have
correct settings in your "Document Raster Effects Settings" to ensure best output for these effects. If you're doing a
photo-quality print on a 36" x 48" poster, and leave the raster effects settings at default 72 DPI - you may see tiny
squares in your drop shadows, as opposed to a smooth shadow.
When should I scale down my artwork?
It is not always necessary to scale your artwork down but here are a few good things to know.
Will your file be over 200"? If yes you will want to scale it down by half. While Illustrator has a maximum document
size nearly 228". Acrobat and others will only read up to 200" resulting in lost artwork. So while the artwork looks ok
in Illustrator, it will not print correctly.
Will your file be over 30,000 pixels along either axis? If yes you will need to reduce the resolution of the file to
reduce the overall file size to 30,000 or less. This will maintain the correct file size and aspect ratio. Don't be worried
about losing quality. A 30,000 pixel document at 150dpi is nearly 16' and would not be viewed close up anyway.
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